# Do historians do math?

Contents

Yes, historians do math such as calculating dates, analyzing statistics, and conducting demographic research.

## For those who need more details

Yes, historians do use math in their work, but the extent to which they utilize mathematical principles varies depending on the specific area of study. Calculating dates, analyzing statistical data, and conducting demographic research are just a few examples of where math comes into play in historical research. As historian and author Sarah Bonds notes, “People tend to think of the humanities and the sciences as being so separate, but they’re not. Historians are starting to realize that science is all around us and we can use it to our advantage.”

Here are some interesting facts about how math is used in historical research:

• Chronology is a fundamental aspect of historical study, and involves calculating dates and measuring the passage of time.
• Demography, or the study of human populations, is another area where math plays a key role in historical research. This can involve analyzing birth and death rates, population growth, and other demographic data.
• Some historians also use statistical methods to analyze data and draw conclusions from their findings.
• According to JSTOR Daily, “Mathematical methods have even been demonstrated to be useful for identifying the authors of anonymous texts, helping to solve mysteries that might have otherwise remained unsolved.”
• In some cases, historians may collaborate with mathematicians or statisticians to develop new tools or techniques for analyzing historical data.

Overall, while historical research may not always involve complex mathematical equations or calculations, a basic understanding of mathematical principles is often essential for interpreting and analyzing data. As Bonds notes, “It’s like a tool in our toolbox that we can pull out when we need it.”

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Area of Study Examples of Math Usage in Historical Research
Chronology Calculating dates
Demography Analyzing birth and death rates, population growth
Statistics Analyzing data and drawing conclusions
Authorship Identifying the authors of anonymous texts
Collaborations Working with mathematicians or statisticians

Historian-mathematicians So historians now have to get their heads around mathematics, too. While a database is never much more than an expression of arithmetic or linear algebra, the increasing amount of available data is calling for a more sophisticated approach.

Many historians use numbers and data in their research. Numeric primary sources such as tax rolls, census data, electoral records, and business ledgers are examples of data that historians use regularly and that can influence the kinds of research questions they ask. While a database is never much more than an expression of arithmetic or linear algebra, the increasing amount of available data is calling for a more sophisticated approach.

Many historians, in fact, already use numbers and data in their research. Tax rolls, census data, electoral records, business ledgers—all constitute examples of numeric primary sources that historians use regularly and that can influence the kinds of research questions they ask.

So historians now have to get their heads around mathematics, too. While a database is never much more than an expression of arithmetic or linear algebra, the increasing amount of available data is calling for a more sophisticated approach.

## Video response

This video discusses the debate between those who believe that mathematics is discovered, and those who believe that it is invented. The video provides examples of how mathematics has been used to solve problems in the real world.

In this manner, Do historians use mathematics? Response: Tax rolls, census data, electoral records, business ledgers—all constitute examples of numeric primary sources that historians use regularly and that can influence the kinds of research questions they ask.

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Considering this, Do history majors need to take math?
The reply will be: History majors research and document information about the past. Since they focus on chronological development, history students have no business with mathematics.

Considering this, What do historians not study?
As an answer to this: Historians try not to place the values, beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes of the present onto the topics they study. Historians try to understand their topics in the context of how and why people of that era thought and behaved, and not how people think and act today.

What do historians mainly study? Historians often study and preserve archival materials. Historians research, analyze, interpret, and write about the past by studying historical documents and sources.

Accordingly, Why do historians need to study mathematics? Response will be: Open access to data, even more than to publications, is therefore becoming imperative. History writing is leading the humanities to contribute to that new frontier of science called big data. So historians now have to get their heads around mathematics, too.

In this regard, What is the history of mathematics?
Answer: The history of mathematics deals with the origin of discoveries in mathematics and the mathematical methods and notation of the past. Before the modern age and the worldwide spread of knowledge, written examples of new mathematical developments have come to light only in a few locales.

Why are historians important?
As a response to this: Historians play a vital role in shaping our understanding of the past and how it affects us today. They study the complex and varied experiences of people in the past, which helps us appreciate the different cultures and societies that have existed throughout history.

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In respect to this, Where do historians work? The reply will be: Historians work in a variety of places, such as universities, museums, government agencies, archives, and non-profit organizations. They specialize in many different topics, such as political and military history, social and cultural history, gender and sexuality, environmental history, and the history of science and technology.

Besides, Why do historians need to study mathematics?
Open access to data, even more than to publications, is therefore becoming imperative. History writing is leading the humanities to contribute to that new frontier of science called big data. So historians now have to get their heads around mathematics, too.

Besides, What is the history of mathematics? As an answer to this: The history of mathematics deals with the origin of discoveries in mathematics and the mathematical methods and notation of the past. Before the modern age and the worldwide spread of knowledge, written examples of new mathematical developments have come to light only in a few locales.

Correspondingly, Where do historians work? Response: Historians work in a variety of places, such as universities, museums, government agencies, archives, and non-profit organizations. They specialize in many different topics, such as political and military history, social and cultural history, gender and sexuality, environmental history, and the history of science and technology.

Why are historians important?
Historians play a vital role in shaping our understanding of the past and how it affects us today. They study the complex and varied experiences of people in the past, which helps us appreciate the different cultures and societies that have existed throughout history.

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